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Hack your messes: Clean those gross areas in a snap
We asked, you answered. How do you handle those icky cleaning tasks at your veterinary clinic?
Despite best intentions some areas of your hospital can get pretty gross. The next time you open the staff fridge and think “What the … ?” or find anal gland secretions on the walls, try implementing one of these crowdsourced cleaning tips.
Tackle that fridge
After too many green fuzzy foods, my solution was to have all perishables labeled with the team member's name and expiration date. Friday is throw out day. All unlabeled foods, including the Pyrex and Tupperware containers, are thrown in the garbage. Once the items are in the garbage, anyone can take the containers home. It's fun. The person throwing items away gets to keep lots of containers, and there's no more mess or guilt.
Stick to a schedule and stay accountable
Unless your clinic has an employee with an affinity (and time) to keep on top of cleaning, the only way that seems to work is making weekly cleaning assignments. You can divide your hospital into zones-or at least just include problem areas like the kitchen-and rotate team through. The employee is responsible for deep cleaning that area once during the week. Using a deep cleaning checklists is great too. It's also helpful to write a "to do" list on your whiteboard daily for other cleaning or stocking needs. Many people just need direction.
Above all, try to find a way to make it bearable-even a little fun for your employees. If your team wants cleaning or organizational items, get them! Showing gratitude for cleaning the toxic biohazard zones and saving us all from a horrible disease is always appreciated, as well. Happy cleaning!
Give incentives for a job well done
We strategically place dollar coins behind and underneath many hidden messes. At training meetings, we discuss where the coins were found and how to adjust our cleaning schedules based on the results. In the future, we plan to mark an occasional coin to redeem for special prizes such as movie passes.
Take a look with fresh eyes
My best tip is to periodically walk in through the client entrance and look around as if you were a new client entering the practice. It's amazing what you'll see when you look at things that way.
Just because it's covered doesn't mean it's clean
Even though the cabinets in our exam rooms have glass doors on them, the shelves still get dusty. So each week-or more often-we take everything off the shelves and wipe them down. There are a ton of bottles, jars and tubes. The worst are the ones in the back where the doctor likes to keep all of his souvenirs he has taken out of animals in small jars. Taking all those treasures off the shelves to clean and put back-I would rather clean anal gland secretions! But, it keeps our hospital looking neat and professional for clients.